Graduation project

‘ Transformation; from industrial site to cultural identity’ was the goal for this Graduation studio. The graduation project was divided in two parts, the M3 project, which can be named the research part, and the M4 project, which is the design part. During the M3 project we as a studio analysed abandoned industrial sites, which have the potential to be transformed into buildings with a cultural identity. One of the sites which were found during the search for abandoned buildings was the Vyborg Mill.

Graduation committee: D. (David) Gianotten

M.H.P.M. (Maarten) Willems

B.C.I.M. (Barbara) Kuit

The Vyborg mill is an abandoned bread factory and located in Vyborg, which is a city on the border of Russia, nearby Finland. The city has a very rich history and belonged to Finland until World War II. Vyborg was one the three largest cities of Finland and the Finnish history can still be seen in the architecture. The Vyborg Mill is located at the harbor on the border of the city center, which is also the district with the most tourist spots. The transformation of the Vyborg mill will create a combination of the Finnish and Russian cultures and promote Vyborg.

The first elements of the Vyborg Mill were built in 1931-1932 and designed by the Finnish architect Erkki Huttunen. The Finnish architect designed the silos and the U-form at the south, which created a courtyard connected to the streets. The other building elements are designed in different periods of time. Although, the Mill got severely damaged by the Soviet troops during the Second World War, the Finnish could resettle the building at the end of the trench warfare.

The design will include three new functions; first, the opera and ballet theatre, that is located inside the new designed volume, which will attract people from larger surrounding cities. This volume partly wraps around the existing buildings; second, a public theatre for the inhabitants of Vyborg, which is located inside the silos; third, a dance school to educate the future performers of the theatre and will be a connection between the public theatre and opera and ballet theatre. The dance school is located inside the former storage. These three functions are connected via a public route which is accessible for everyone.

The program for the transformed building will connect with the cultural identity of both Russia and Finland, has an outdoor square for several activities, is a public location where people can meet, and attracts tourists to Vyborg.